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Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation gets new leader

CORPUS CHRISTI — Iain Vasey’s phone kept ringing Wednesday.

The calls rolled in, one after the other, some with a “361” area code flashing on the caller ID.

It can be hard to keep a secret in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a town known for its government, thriving energy sector and LSU football. Word had gotten out — he was the one picked to head the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corp.

“I’m really looking forward to this opportunity,” Vasey said in a phone interview.

Vasey, 43, replaces Roland C. Mower, who left the position in September after nine years to head Port San Antonio. As CEO, Vasey will run a staff of seven people and be responsible for attracting and retaining business in a metropolitan area that has grown 7.1 percent since 2000.

In related news, Experts predict growing Corpus Christi, economy.

He has worked that past five years as executive director of Business Development for the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. The job included spearheading economic development, business attraction, and business retention efforts for the nine-parish capital region of Louisiana.

“We had many excellent, well-qualified applicants for the job. But in the final analysis, he spoke the language we were used to,” said Al Jones, the economic development corp.’s chair-elect. “He had involvement and experience in the types of economic development projects we’re accustomed to and are trying to attract to the area.”

Vasey is expected to start in Corpus Christi sometime early March. He spent much of Wednesday fielding phone calls from Louisiana business leaders. Some expressed well wishes. Others shared please-don’t-go sentiments.

The Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corp. hired Boyden Global Executive Search, an international recruitment and consulting firm, to handle the nationwide search. Between 75-125 people were contacted about the position, said Tim C. McNamara, managing partner for the recruitment company. Progressively the field was whittled down to eight finalists, then to four, none of whom was from Texas.

The final four candidates were interviewed in Corpus Christi in mid January.

Vasey said he wasn’t looking for a new job when he was contacted by the headhunting group, but that he was excited about the opportunity, noting the similarities between Corpus Christi and Baton Rouge.

“We’ve both seen the petrochemical industry expanding and massive investments by businesses that support them, but recently we’ve also seen a pattern of economic diversification,” Vasey said. “That’s going to be key for the entire industrial Gulf Coast moving forward.”

Education

  • Master’s degree, community and regional planning, Iowa State University (1998)
  • Bachelor’s degree in American history, University of Hull (England)
  • Certified economic developer

Work experience

  • Executive director, Baton Rouge Area Chamber, 2010 to present
  • Vice president, Grubb & Ellis BRE Commercial, 2006-10
  • Economic development director, city of Glendale, Arizona, 2004-06
  • Office of Business Development, city of Las Vegas, 2001-04

Community comparison

  • Baton Rouge Corpus Christi United States
  • Population 229,426 316,381 316,128,839
  • Unemployment Rate 6.2 percent 4.2 percent 5.6 percent
  • Recent Job Growth 3.12 percent 2.81 percent 1.18 percent
  • Future Job Growth 41.7 percent 41.4 percent 36.1 percent
  • Median Household Income $38,593 $47,481 $53,046

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

 

This article was written by Chris Ramirez from Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Texas and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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